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Are We Eating with the Right People?

“When I wrote in my letter to you not to associate with people living immoral lives, I was not meaning to include all the people in the world who are sexually immoral, any more than I meant to include all usurers and swindlers or idol-worshippers. To do that, you would have to withdraw from the world...

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Greg Boyd on Condemning Unbelievers

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 09-11-2014


Boyd writes,

“We are to have faith that what God says about himself in Christ is true, what God says about us in Christ is true, and what God says about others in Christ is true. So whatever the appearances may be, we are to have faith that God is working in others to do what only God can do. This means that we must never condition our love and acceptance of people with judgment about how much or how little progress they are making in their relationship with God.

Conditioning our love and acceptance of people on the basis of our judgment reveals that we don’t believe what God says about them or that God is working in their lives. Since “Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Rom 14:23), we should in this case be concerned with the tree trunk of sin in our own life rather than trying to fix the sin we think we perceive in others’ lives.

We should focus on what God commands us to do rather than speculating about the extent to which others are or are not doing what God has commanded them to do. When we try to detach ourselves and critically evaluate the progress of others, we act as though we are their masters, and we thereby disobey God (Matt 7:1-5, Rom 14:4).

This also applies to people who haven’t yet surrendered their lives to Christ. They, too, must be unconditionally embraced and invited into the celebration of the cessation of the banishment from communion with God. Indeed, our unconditional, loving embrace is the central way these people are to come to know we are disciples of Christ. They encounter the reality of Jesus Christ as they experience his love through us (Jn 17:20-26). Though they cannot see God, they experience his love as it is manifested through us (1 Jn 4:12). Our outrageous love becomes a puzzle to them for which Jesus Christ is the only adequate explanation.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Is Suicide Unforgivable?

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 09-11-2014


In the weeks following Robin Williams’ death, many Christians spoke openly about their belief that those who commit suicide will be condemned to hell. Frank Viola, an author, dedicates his life to applying Christian principles to the modern world, and when discussing Williams’ death, he says he is upset by the lack of sympathy that some Christians exhibit.

“I’m always saddened when people make outrageous claims, are insensitive to those grieving [e.g. the Williams family], and would say things about others that they would never want to be said to or about them,” says Frank Viola. “Jesus taught that human beings need forgiveness, a new life, and relationship with God. That’s what we were created. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of humanity. He took ours sin and shame when He died on the cross, paying its penalty in full on our behalf. His message was repent, trust in Him as Savior and Lord, and receive a new life. The nature of that new life is love — which according to Jesus, is benefiting others at the expense of oneself. Or, as He put it in Matthew 7:12, to treat others as we want to be treated in every situation.”

So why is it that many Christians are so quick to condemn those who commit suicide to hell?“The Bible doesn’t make that statement,” says Viola. “Putting aside the nature of hell (Christians disagree on its exact nature), what brings God’s judgment is not any particular sin. What brings God’s judgment is the deliberate rejection of the salvation and forgiveness of sins that God has offered through trusting in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of our sins.”

Still, some well-known Christians are adding fuel to the fire by criticizing Williams for the choice to end his life.

“Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all one’s heart, soul, mind and strength,” Viola says. “And the second greatest commandment is to love others as we love ourselves. That means benefiting them at the expense of ourselves. Jesus is the human face of God and to know God and love with His love is to be fully human.”Read more about author Frank Viola’s view on suicide and mental illness as well as follow him on Twitter.

This excerpt was taken from Opposing Views. Read the full article here.

What Todd Bentley & Mark Driscoll Have in Common

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 02-09-2014


by Jeffrey Yoder

The recent Mark Driscoll scandal has caused me to see a connection to the Todd Bentley scandal several years ago.

The sins of Bentley – who was a Charismatic celebrity – were sexual immorality and drunkenness.

The sins of Driscoll – who was a Neo-Calvinist/Reformed celebrity – were emotional abuse, dishonesty, and verbal assault.

Both Driscoll and Bentley were popular figures in the Christian world.

Both stepped down from ministry.

Both lost thousands of fans.

But both were promoted by respected leaders who have very large platforms.

I want to make two big points in this piece.

Devoted to God’s Will

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 26-05-2014


There is a third thing which defines that to some degree, which puts its finger upon the root of the matter. What is the man after God’s heart? What is it that God has sought in man? The verse in Acts tells us: “…who shall do all my will” (Acts 13:22). If you look at the margin you will see that “will” is plural: “…all my wills” – everything that God desires, everything that God wills, the will of God in all its forms, in all its ways, in all its quests and objectives. The man who will do all His wills is the man after God’s heart, whom God has sought. The words are spoken, in the first place, of David. There are several ways in which David as a man after God’s heart is brought out into clear relief.

Ex-Clergy Survival Guide

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 22-01-2014


It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

~ Upton Sinclair

The Anabaptists were persecuted by both the Catholic and Protestant streams of Christianity.

They didn’t believe in the institutionalization of the church, including a clergy/laity divide.

This got them into hot water with organized Christianity.

Many contemporary pastors are leaving the pastorate for similar reasons. They are experiencing a crisis of conscience.

If you are an ex-clergyman, and you wish to find work outside of your religious profession, send an email to expastorsguide @ gmail.com and receive a free copy of the Ex-Pastors Survival Guide.

Links on Jon Zens, an ex-pastor:

Jon Zens | LinkedIn

View Jon Zens’s professional profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world’s largest business network, helping professionals like Jon Zens discover inside 

What’s with Paul and Women?: Jon Zens, Wade Burleson

as a clear mandate to silence women in the church for over 1500 years. In What’s With Paul & Women? Jon Zens exposes the fallacies of this interpretation.

Istoria Ministries Blog: Searching Together, Edited by Jon Zens

Sep 21, 2010 – One of my favorite theologians is Jon Zens. Jon edits the quarterly periodical called Searching Together, formerly known as the Baptist 

Is Paul sexist? (with Dr. Jon Zens) – YouTube

Adam Zens and Bo Bennet interview Dr. Jon Zens. Jon explains why he doesn’t think that Paul is sexist and

Gatherings In The Early Church. By Jon Zens | house2housemagazine

Oct 17, 2013 – Gatherings In The Early Church. By Jon Zens. Sharing Christ with One Another, Not Listening to a Pulpit Monologue. Although I have problems 

Jon Zens Talks About His New Book: No Will of My Own

May 7, 2011 – Author Jon Zens joined in earlier today at Jocelyn Andersen’s Blog Talk In his Introduction to No Will of My Own, Jon states, “In this case, 

Four Tragic Shifts in the Visible Church | Jon Zens – Granted Ministries

Read “Four Tragic Shifts in the Visible Church” by Jon Zens. Download for free. See our review.

Jon Zens: The Pastor Has No Clothes | 5 Pt. Salt

Aug 15, 2011 – This is the kind of thing that makes you go “Hmmm….” Or…. “Are you kidding me?” Related Post: The Pastor-Teacher: One Calling, One Office

Jon Zens’ Powerful New Book

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 19-01-2014


Jon Zens has just released a new book entitled, 58-0: How Christ Leads Through the One-Anothers


There is a serious need for Christians today to understand their true identity as members of the priesthood who minister to one another as the N.T. affirms. This book couldn’t be more necessary or timely for the Church today. A definite “must read” for every follower of Jesus.

—Keith Giles, California, author of The Power of Weakness and “This Is My Body”: Ekklesia as God Intended

 Bold, fresh, insightful and provocative. A treasure chest of light on the church. This is perhaps Jon’s best work yet.

—Frank Viola, author of God’s Favorite Place on Earth, frankviola.org

Finally, a book for all believers about the beauty, worth, and high place of the church in the life of a saint. No denominational favoritism here. Instead, Jon and Graham move beyond centuries of division and factions to help God’s people understand the lovely simplicity of what it means to be the church. From the very start, the authors’ premises and passions are evident. Jon’s inimitable style combines a likeably direct, no-nonsense approach to church life that offers much practical guidance to the subject. 58 to 0 is a definitive must for every Christian who is serious about sharing life in the Body of Christ.

—Dr. Stephanie Bennett, Florida, professor of Communication at Palm Beach Atlantic University, and author of Communicating Love, and two works of fiction, Within the Walls, and Breaking the Silence

In 58 to 0, I see the heart and soul of Jon’s writings since I first met him in 1979. I firmly believe that believers will see in this book the heart and soul of Christ. As a historian, I agree with Jon that a radical shift took place in the Churches view of leadership and authority early in the second century. What was once the work of the Holy Spirit became the duty of a special class of leaders, separated in kind from the laity. I grew up in Africa and had the privilege on several occasions of seeing first-century body life in the first believers in a community. I also witnessed the intrusion of the “organized” church, which replaced the “one-another” relationships that were occurring organically, with a structured authority. Jon, in 58 to 0, has articulated the best description of what I saw in my childhood in Africa, and what I yearn to see in all of Christ’s people. I urge folks to put down what else they may be reading, and read this book. I have little doubt that an honest wrestling with the themes in the book will result in new paradigms, and a new appreciation for the person and work of Christ. I think this is the most important book that Jon has written.

—Skeeter Wilson, Washington author of Worthless People and the forthcoming Crossing Rivers


Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-11-2013


A new Facebook Page – Jesus First

Frank Viola Refutes “Strange Fire”

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-10-2013


Frank Viola is starting a series of blog posts critiquing John MacArthur’s book Charismatic Chaos which has been revised as Strange Fire.

Viola writes:

“In October 1994, I wrote a lengthy critique of John MacArthur’s controversial book Charismatic Chaos.

I was in my 20s at the time.

MacArthur’s Chaos contains his core arguments against the theology and practice of the charismatic community. That would include a polemic on why he believes the supernatural gifts of the Spirit have ceased from operating today.

(Note that I criticize much that passes off as “spiritual” within charismatic circles today in my book, Revise Us Again. So if you’re interested in those critiques, you can look at that volume.)

Over the next week, I’m going to post excerpts from my critique of Charismatic Chaos because MacArthur’s arguments in that volume are simply rehashed in his new book, Strange Fire, which is causing no small frenzy among Christians right now.

I will then make my entire critique available.

In this post, I’ve published the Preface to my critique of MacArthur’s book as it explains why I wrote the critique and why I think MacArthur’s main arguments are flawed.”

Read the rest of Viola’s article here

Jon Zens – A Voice for Modern Anabaptists

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 19-07-2013


Jon Zens is an Anabaptist scholar. Zens has a B.A. in Biblical studies from Covenant College, a M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, and a D.Min. from the California Graduate School of Theology.

Jon Zens

Jon Zens

He is the editor of Searching Together magazine.

Zens’s books include the following:

What’s With Paul & Women: Unlocking the Cultural Background to 1 Timothy 2

The Pastor Has No Clothes: Moving from Clergy-Centered Church to Christ-Centered Ekklesia

No Will of My Own: How Patriarchy Smothers Female Dignity & Personhood

A Church Building Every 1/2 Mile: What Makes American Christianity Tick?

Christ Minimized? A Response to Rob Bell’s Love Wins

Related Articles:

Searching Together

Jon Zens Website

Jon Zens and Frank Viola interview

Jon Zens on LinkedIn

Jon Zens: Pagan Christianity

Jon Zens on Beyond Evangelical

Jon Zens on Good Reads

Jon Zens Interview

Meet Jon Zens

Christ & Poverty

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 01-08-2012


Perhaps we live in an age in which the question we must deal with first is, “Is it possible to practice Christ and not be poor?”  Our age of self-sufficiency works well for those for whom it works well–the great tautology.  For those whom it does not work that is their problem; not mine, not yours, just their problem.

Our world is the product of the self-portrait, a world where “I” am the subject of “my own” universe in which all is objectified (one need only login to MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter to understand this–the new technologies have turned everyone into an artist, and he can think of nothing better to paint than his own technological image).

In this world “human laziness makes people pigeonhole one another at first sight so they find nothing in common,” said Dostoyevsky’s Idiot.

This refusal is a renarration of self-identity as self-preservation–the preservation of a false self.  We know as we are known, and if I know “you” within a specified category, then “my” identity remains securely fixed within “my” own mental construction.  Until the real work of getting to know “the other,” “I” remain enclosed in the virtual realm of “my” own making.